Free training scheme for construction workers in restoration of stone buildings

The Traditional Building Skills Training Scheme (TBSTS ) is a pilot programme being run by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht in conjunction with four local authorities.

Galway County Council has been selected as one of the four local authorities. The council has facilitated the setting up of the Workhouse TBSTS at the Irish Workhouse Centre in Portumna. A project manager has been appointed who together with a conservation/restoration specialist will be responsible for the delivery of the training scheme.

The broad aim of the scheme is “to enhance skillsets in built heritage conservation within and around the pilot local authority area by making trainees or qualified construction workers more capable of carrying out conservation and restoration projects and therefore improve their prospects of employment.”

The scheme in Portumna will be hands-on, practical, work based training. Up to 10 trainees will take part. The course will take place on Fridays and Saturdays in October and November, excluding the October bank holiday weekend.

Trainees will get a practical overview of the conservation, restoration and re-development of old stone buildings. Whether one is working on a cottage, a farmhouse, a castle or a church, the principles of restoration are the same.

One of the biggest mistakes made when working on stone buildings today is the use of cement based renders which cause dampness. Lime renders must be used so as to allow stone buildings to breath. Consequently, the use of lime in restoration will form the basis of the training programme in Portumna.

Trainees will learn how to repair old lime render, how to do new lime render and how to work with stone and lime. Certification will be awarded to participants who successfully complete the course. The closing date for receipt of applications for the scheme is Monday September 22. For further information contact the Irish Workhouse Centre, Portumna. 090-9759200 e-mail: [email protected] housecentre.ie

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